The Water and sanitation department provides expertise and develops tools to secure good water management and universal access to water and sanitation.

Access to water and sanitation is, for many people in the world, a matter of daily survival. It is also a key component in trying to break the vicious circle of poverty, while creating sustainable societies for the future. This makes water governance, with regards to water and sanitation, one of the most important and urgent development issues. It is essentially a question of making sure that every person has safe water to drink and a toilet to use. But while this may sound as a straight forward advice, the reality is that achieving universal access to water and sanitation is a daunting challenge in many societies.

To this end, the Water and Sanitation department provides advice, develops tools and methodologies, and conducts studies, trainings, and workshops on water governance issues. The aim is to achieve sustainable and resilient water and sanitation services on all levels. Through partnerships and projects, many with global reach, the department works to secure universal access to water and sanitation services in accordance with Sustainable Development Goal 6. 

Areas of expertise

The Water and Sanitation department consists of experts on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). The team generates knowledge and contributes to the academic debate on topics related to water governance and water, sanitation and hygiene. It also shares its expertise through other publications, sometimes with other SIWI colleagues or with partner organizations such as UNDP and UNICEF.

The Water and Sanitation team serves as a partner to cities and governments as well as UN agencies. After the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Water and Sanitation department partnered with UNICEF to monitor the response of governments across the world when it comes to access to WASH services.


Through the Water and Sanitation department, SIWI enables more efficient, equitable and environmentally sustainable governance of water resources, and water supply and sanitation in low- and middle-income countries. We work to reduce mismanagement and corruption through promoting integrity, transparency, and accountability within and between governments, civil society organizations and private companies.

We help clients and partners to take the crucial step from policy formulation and planning to effective implementation. This includes targeted support in important aspects of reform, such as decentralisation, multi-stakeholder participation, river basin management, coordination and integration processes, and gender equity.

SIWI supports clients and partners to manage water resources and provide water supply and sanitation services more efficiently, equitably, and sustainably through:

  • Developing and applying tailored knowledge, tools, and methodologies.
  • Policy and technical advice on governance reform and implementation at local, national and river basin levels.
  • Documenting and sharing examples of good practices.
  • Monitoring and assessment at national, regional, and international levels.

Meet the team (in Stockholm)

In Colombia

In Jordan